PennFuture Fights to Keep More Than 100,000 Green Jobs

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett - Image from Wikipedia

Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future recently launched a campaign to battle plans introduced by the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to cut clean energy programs and laws. As part of the campaign – known as the Campaign to Protect Clean Energy and Pennsylvania Jobs – Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, also called PennFuture, argues that the government’s actions could eliminate 106,000 green jobs.

“These program cuts and legislative attacks threaten to kill these good, family-sustaining jobs,” said Jan Jarrett, CEO and president of PennFuture.

The number of green jobs in the clean energy industry actually rose from essentially no jobs to more than 100,000 in the past 12 years, Jarrett said last week. PennFuture was founded in 1998 and is a statewide public interest membership organization that seeks to keep clean energy efforts in Pennsylvania strong.

“We cannot stand by while our homegrown clean energy industry is destroyed and its good jobs are killed,” she said. “And we know that once businesses and consumers realize the threat, they will make sure that Harrisburg’s job-killing plans are stopped.”

Multiple Pennsylvania Clean Energy Programs at Stake

PennFuture said the Corbett administration plans to demobilize the Office of Energy and Technology Deployment of the Department of Environmental Protection as well as prohibit executive agencies from contracting with clean energy companies. In addition, PennFuture mentioned government plans to fire the directors and reassign the staffs of both the Governor’s Green Government Council as well as the Department of General Services’ Office of Energy Management.

Clean energy companies in the state have installed 4,000 solar power systems and 16 wind farms, and PennFuture plans to enlist the help of these businesses to protest the commonwealth administration’s moves against green jobs. PennFuture has been successful in the past with getting environmental legislation passed, including the 2004 passage of the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act. This act basically requires that electric companies increase the amount of electricity they generate for Pennsylvania consumers using alternative resources.

“We intend to stop these cuts and protect our clean energy laws with this army of empowered, educated citizens and businesses,” said Christina Simeone, director of the PennFuture Energy Center for Enterprise and the Envrionment.

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